Knife and Fork, Chelsea, soft paste porcelain, c.1750-55


Of large pistol-grip shape, the hafts are moulded with flowering prunus branches, in the manner of the blanc de chine porcelains of Dehua. Inspired by French porcelain, prunus moulding of this type tends to date to the Raised Anchor period at Chelsea. The fork has four tines on a silver baluster stem, the knife with a curved steel blade. The fork bears the post-1838 French hallmark of the head of Minerva and the number 1, denoting silver fineness of .950. Scalloped silver ferrules.

Provenance: The Darblay Collection, Paris; an English Private Collection.

Condition: No damage or restoration to the porcelain, just some kiln speckling to the glaze and minor flaws from manufacture, and a dimple to the fork ferrule. A really usable set.

Dimensions: Length of knife 28 cm (including blade); Length of fork 20.8 cm (including tines)

A Review of Chelsea, Chelsea, Derby and Derby Knife and Fork Hafts, Tony Stevenson (ECC Transactions, vol. 14, no. 1, 1990).

Cutlery: From Gothic to Art Deco - The J. Hollander Collection, Jan van Trigt (Petraco-Pandora NV, 1999).




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